The World is Finally Trying To Become A Better Place For Women
The world took a historic step yesterday when Saudi finally made it legal for women to drive. The nation took a momentous step to dip their feet into the 21st century by allowing women to take this basic step. Though the shroud of a truly patriarchal society still hangs over Saudi, King Salman took the first step in liberating women of Saudi from the clutches of men. Saudi stood as the only country to ban women from driving, a move that earned them disdain and criticism from the whole world. Though King Salman is the one being applauded for this historic decision, the real heroes are the women who made this possible with their protests and acts of defiance.
From the 47 women who drove in a convoy in 1990 to protest the ban to the defiance of Loujan al-Hathloul and Maysaa al-Amoudi who were detained for going against the ban, these are the people who have brought a glimmer of freedom into the lives of Saudi women.
Here is how the world is reacting to this joyous news.
— NadiasHealthyKitchen (@NadiasRecipes) September 27, 2017
Lots of jokes about this, but serious applause to all the Saudi women who worked hard on making this happen. Heroes.#SaudiArabia
— Charles Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) September 26, 2017
— ABC News (@abcnews) September 27, 2017
— Aunt Olive (@HelpfulOlive) September 27, 2017
While Saudi women are soon going to take to the streets to experience the newfound air of freedom, things back home are looking up too. While women have been driving since quite a long time in Pakistan, bikes are all the rage with young women right now. In a country where horrifying traffic jams are the bane of every Pakistani’s existence, bikes are a blessing. With their low cost and easy way of getting through the streets, girls are now looking towards bikes to be their selected mode of transport.
Our dear neighbor from across the border, India has almost as many women bike drivers as men and it’s about time that Pakistan removes the stigma from women bike drivers too.
You may know Girls at Dhabas as the Pakistan based collective that wants to reclaim public spaces for women, but these ladies recently arranged bike rallies in different cities of Pakistan in order to raise awareness for this mode of transportation. In an attempt to curb the culture of keeping women out of public spaces, these bike rallies in Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi aimed to make men get used to the idea of seeing women come out in the open spaces usually reserved for men.
However, these aren’t the only women who are working hard for the biking cause as students from NUST university have established a bike-sharing startup called CYIKQ to help students especially females to easily find their way in the vast NUST campus. Besides providing the convenience of not having to walk long distances inside the campus, this startup has also helped people “accept that women are equal to men and their modes of transport should also be the same,”.
Now we just need to wait for the day when the sight of women driving bikes and motorcycles won’t shatter anyone’s masculinity or have aunties clutch their pearls in shame. Till then let’s just celebrate with our Saudi compatriots the fact that the world is inch by inch becoming a better place for women.